CANADA OPEN 2011 Finals – Chengs 2, Cheng nil

Cheng Wen Hsing had to settle for 2 silvers at the 2011 Yonex Canada Open while Cheng Shu and Bao Yixin got the drop on the defending champions but Cheng […]

Cheng Wen Hsing had to settle for 2 silvers at the 2011 Yonex while Cheng Shu and Bao Yixin got the drop on the defending champions but Cheng Shao Chieh made sure Chinese Taipei did not leave empty-handed.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Richmond.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Cheng Shao Chieh came into the 2011 Yonex Canada Open with a rather unusual pedigree.  She was the only participant at this year’s event who was a winner back in 2004, when Vancouver hosted arguably its strongest ever field badminton field at the World Championships.

On court at today’s tournament, Cheng showed none of the vulnerability she had earlier in the week when she needed three games to dispose of youngster Nozomi Okuhara and her equally unknown compatriot Kaori Imabeppu.  Instead, her first match this week against a seeded opponent was among the most one-sided for the diminutive veteran and she saw off former world #2 Pi Hongyan of France by a convincing 21-15, 21-11.

“I think this is my lucky place,” said Cheng Shao Chieh after her match.  “The weather here is beautiful and the air is very fresh.

“I haven’t really thought about things like the Olympics or World Championships.  I am just enjoying my matches.”

Cheng denied that having some company in the world’s top echelon from compatriot Tai Tzu Ying, winner at the U.S. Open last week, had any influence on her.  “I really only focus on what I’m doing on court so I don’t really even notice when other Taiwan players do well.  Even when I train with others, I really only follow my own rhythm.

Next up was the only showdown on finals day between China and Chinese Taipei, both of whom were still gunning for two titles.  Cheng Shu was up against the mighty Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin with a third partner in 2011.  She and Zhao Yunlei had had an unbeaten record against the Taiwan pair but her short-lived partnership with Ma Jin had met defeat in both matches against the veterans from across the Formosa Straits.

In Canada, however, Cheng/Chien just could not get the better of their younger challengers and Bao/Cheng narrowly prevented a third game, winning 21-13, 23-21.

“It’s absolutely fabulous,” Cheng Shu replied when asked how it felt to be back on the winning track against Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin.

“This is only my fourth tournament with Bao Yixin so winning here is very encouraging.  In the future, we hope to keep growing as a pair and to create more sparks in the future.

“As for the future of our partnership, we are not playing the World Championships, so we are not sure what the future will hold.  As for the Olympics, we are going to work on it but we’ll just have to take things step by step.”

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net